Helen Grant MP (left) and jockey Katie Walsh – patrons of Women in Racing.
Katie won the Irish Grand National on board THUNDER AND ROSES in April and is also the most successful female jockey to ride in the English equivalent finishing third on SEA BASS in 2011. She also spoke at the first Grand Women's Summit at the Crabbie's Grand National Festival in April, hosted by Aintree Racecourse and Women in Racing (WiR), and remarked on the importance of women jockeys needing to receive more opportunities from trainers and owners to ride good horses in big races.
"It is important for horseracing to encourage new people to consider the sport as a career, whether they want to be a jockey or involved in another area. WiR has some very beneficial initiatives offering support at all career stages as well as an interesting calendar of events." Katie continued: "With WiR providing support and helping to influence similar opportunities for young jockeys I feel this is a very worthwhile organisation that I am delighted to be involved with."
Helen Grant is the Member of Parliament for Maidstone & The Weald. She was the UK Minister for Women and Equalities 2012-2014 and Minister for Sport and Tourism from 2013-2015, which included responsibility for horse racing and gambling. She has championed the growth of female participation in sport in the UK and, notably, has made enormous progress on the replacement of the levy system with a new Racing Right. Helen said: “I am delighted and proud to become a patron of WiR and look forward to continuing my involvement in this very special sport in the months and years to come.”
The group's Chair, Sally Rowley-Williams, commented: I am delighted that Katie and Helen have joined Noel Harwerth (BHA Board Director) and Penny Boys CB (former Deputy Chair of the Levy Board) as Patrons for WiR. Their support, combined with the experience of our four new committee members, provides further depth and breadth to WiR, thereby benefiting British Horseracing as a whole."